Undergraduate Program International and Global Studies: Regional Studies

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International and Global Studies: Regional Studies Bachelor's Degree and Certificate Overview

A major in Regional Studies provides students with both a global perspective and an in-depth understanding of a geographic region of the world. Our majors develop their expertise in a world region by creating a course of study with the help of an advisor. Students can choose to focus on Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East for their major or earn a certificate in one of these geographic areas.

  • Africa: Students will become aware of global disparities and the challenges facing the African continent, including unequal development, environmental degradation, and inequity in access to democratic rights, and how social movements are confronting these challenges.
  • Asia: Students will develop a deep understanding of the cultures and politics of East, South, and Southeast Asia and the rapid transformations taking place in the region. 
  • Europe: Students will gain an understanding of the range of diverse historical, political, economic, and cultural experiences and values that shape European identity and become able to critically evaluate various consequences of Europe’s interaction with the rest of the world as well as sources of tensions that are causing political upheavals in Europe.
  • Latin America: Students will gain insight into the histories, languages, and diverse societies of Latin America, including indigenous peoples and experiences and, will demonstrate an understanding of how legacies of colonialism, imperialism, and capitalist development have produced Modern Latin America.
  • Middle East: Students will draw upon multiple perspectives to analyze the diverse historical, political, economic, linguistic, and cultural experiences and values that exist in the Middle East and understand the legacy of colonialism and imperialism within the region and how it continues to shape conflicts, crises, and social issues.

Degree Details

International and Global Studies: Regional Studies Bachelor's Degree or Certificate: Why PSU?

Choose PSU’s Regional Studies major if you’re looking for:

  • Exceptional faculty. Our faculty have extensive experience with teaching, research, and fieldwork in all the major geographic regions of the world.
  • Exciting, cutting-edge courses. Our course offerings cover topics such as environmental conflicts, globalization, migration, global cities, and sustainable development.
  • An interdisciplinary degree. We offer a flexible interdisciplinary curriculum that can be tailored to your goals and interests.
  • Personalized Advising. Professional and faculty advisors are there to support your learning goals and guide you to new opportunities.
  • Study Abroad Opportunities. You can enhance your knowledge of your chosen geographic region by going on one of the 200 credit-bearing international opportunities offered through PSU Education Abroad.

Our diverse campus is located in the center of downtown Portland, one of the most vibrant cities on the West Coast.

What can I do with a bachelor's degree or certificate in International and Global Studies: Regional Studies?

A degree in Regional Studies prepares students for a wide range of careers in the nonprofit, private, and government sectors. Graduates of our program have found opportunities all over the world in:

  • Graduate programs in International Affairs, Business, Political Science, Urban Studies, Public Health, etc.
  • Private-sector employers, including international businesses 
  • Aid organizations such as the International Red Cross
  • Nonprofits focused on issues ranging from health to education, food systems, gender rights, sustainability, and more
  • Business incubators and trade organizations
  • Government agencies, with a focus on international affairs
  • Journalism and media organizations

Whether you want to pursue a career overseas, work in the United States, or prepare for a graduate degree, take the first step with a Portland State University’s Regional Studies major.

Core Curriculum

  • INTL 201 Introduction to International Studies
  • INTL 2XX Introduction to Regional Studies
  • INTL 296 The United State and the World
  • INTL 407 Seminar
  • INTL 415 Global Studies Theories
  • INTL 471/LING 471 Understanding the International Experience

INTL 2xx: Students may double count Intl 2xx for the major and University Studies Sophomore Inquiry; a Mentored Inquiry section is required.

INTL 470 Intercultural Leadership and Change can substitute for INTL 471 Understanding the International Experience.

INTL 201 Intro to International Studies is a prerequisite for INTL 415 Global Studies Theories.

Individualized Curriculum

Connected Learning: At least 20 upper-division credits from advisor-approved courses. Connected Learning courses must have global/international content.

Regional Focus: At least 20 upper-division credits from advisor-approved, area-specific courses appropriate to the student’s regional focus. Students with a focus on European Studies are required to take Intl 452 European Union as one of the courses satisfying the regional focus requirements.

Language: Two years, or equivalent proficiency, of language study in one language appropriate to the regional focus. For students taking courses at PSU, second-year proficiency is defined by successful completion of the terminal course in the second-year language sequence, or demonstrating proficiency through the Department of World Languages and Literature.



Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).